The Simplicity Argument and the Unconscious

Philosophy and Theology 20 (1/2):53-83 (2008)
Abstract
I argue that Kant’s four Paralogistic conclusions concerning (a) substantiality; (b1) unity and (b2) immortality, in the famous “Achillesargument”; (c) personal identity; and (d) metaphysical idealism, in the first edition Critique of Pure Reason (1781), are all connectedby being grounded in a common underlying rational principle, an a priori (universal and necessary) presupposition, namely, that boththe mind and its essential attribute of thinking are immaterial and unextended, i.e., simple. Consequently, despite Kant’s predilectionfor architectonic divisions and separations, I show that in fact the simplicity assumption grounds all four Paralogisms and reinforcesKant’s corresponding commitments to the principles of continuity and coherence. Further, I maintain that Kant, under the influence ofhis earlier Leibnizian and subjective idealist leanings, continued to be guided in the first edition Critique, not only in the Paralogismsbut also in certain sections of the Analytic, by emphasizing unconscious activities, which once more reinforced his commitments to aparadigm of the simplicity, unity, and identity of self-consciousness or apperception
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